Touchless faucets—also known as motion-sensor faucets—are the future of home water fixtures. They not only add convenience and efficiency to your kitchen and bathroom, but they also bring a sleek, modern design element to your home. But before you run out and purchase a touchless faucet to install in your kitchen, there are a few things you should know to help you make the best selection for your needs.
How Does a Touchless Kitchen Faucet Work?
Touchless kitchen faucets can be turned on and off without using a handle and usually feature a pull-down design for greater cleaning power and versatility. Most of these models are activated by a motion sensor attached to the fixture, although some operate via a one-touch tactile sensor to start and stop the flow of water.
While each manufacturer’s design is a little different, all touchless faucets incorporate the same basic mechanical principles:
- A solenoid within the faucet triggers a diaphragm valve that starts and stops the flow of water.
- A motion-activated sensor embedded in the faucet’s exterior detects an object (typically a hand) in front of it, which uses fiber optic cables to activate the solenoid to start the water flow.
- Once the sensor no longer detects the presence of the object, it will shut off the flow of water after a predetermined amount of time, usually one to three minutes.
- The solenoid and sensor components of the faucet require a battery or AC power source to function.
What are the Advantages of a Touchless Kitchen Faucet?
- Convenience: Convenience is the biggest selling point of touchless faucets, as they allow you to turn the water off and on without actually touching anything, which can be a huge advantage when you have messy hands or are carrying a stack of dirty dishes to the sink.
- Hygiene: Cleanliness and safety are also huge advantages of touchless faucets, preventing you from transferring germs, food particles and other gunk to faucet handles where they can make a mess and spread to other members of your household. By taking the touch out of the equation, you reduce the chance of spreading food-borne illnesses and other harmful bacteria.
- Conservation: Touchless faucets can also help you conserve water and save money on your utilities. Touchless faucets automatically shut off when no one is using them, so you’re no longer flushing money down the drain if someone forgets to turn off the water or leaves it running for extended periods while multitasking.
- Leak prevention: Automatic faucets keep messy leaks at bay with automatic shutoff technology and tightly-locking spray head mechanisms.
- Design: Sleek touchless faucets give your kitchen a sophisticated, modern look that can be customized to match your existing finishes.
What Should I Look for When Buying a Touchless Kitchen Faucet?
With dozens of models available at varying price points, the choices may seem a bit overwhelming. You’ll want to consider the following factors when choosing a touchless faucet for your kitchen.
When comparing different faucet models, be sure the brand offers a touchless faucet in a finish that matches your kitchen, whether it’s bronze, brushed nickel or another color. You should also consider a spot-resistant finish to minimize the appearance of unsightly water spots and fingerprints on your faucet.
Review the ratings of each model to get an idea of how accurate the faucet’s sensor is—perhaps the most critical feature in a touchless faucet. Highly accurate sensors will start as soon as it detects the presence of a hand, dish or other item and stop the flow once movement has ceased for a set period of time. If your faucet’s sensor isn’t accurate, you may find yourself waving your hand in front of it for prolonged periods trying to start the flow of water, or it may randomly shut off while you’re still using it.
Most touchless kitchen faucets have battery-powered sensors, but the type of battery required may vary: some may use a button-style battery, while others may need four to six AA batteries to function. Select a style that will not only be easy to find and replace, but also one that offers the longest battery life possible. While changing the batteries in the sensor isn’t difficult, it can be inconvenient and time-consuming in the long run, especially if the sensor drains batteries quickly and requires you to replace them frequently.
Touchless faucets tend to have pull-down spray heads to give you maximum flexibility for cleaning large pots and other items. Some brands offer automatically-guided heads that return to their docking position without requiring much effort from the user, but a few still use manual docking designs that require you to manually guide the spray head back into the faucet housing. Look for a faucet with an automatically guided head and magnetic housing that locks it in place.
The price range among touchless faucet brands can vary widely, with costs starting at less than $200 and approaching $1,000 in some cases. While we recommend setting a budget and sticking to it, it’s important to remember that kitchen hardware should be viewed as a long-term investment, so be sure to carefully compare features and weigh the pros and cons of each model, considering the value each option provides over a lifetime of use.
Best Touchless Faucets: Our Top Five Picks
Since 1954, Delta has been recognized as an industry leader in quality and innovation, and the brand’s Touch2O® line of faucets is no exception. With a simple touch of a wrist or forearm anywhere on the spout or handle, the faucet releases a flow of water at the temperature set by you on the handle. This one-touch technology is easy to use and virtually foolproof, allowing you to take care of business in the kitchen without spreading any messes to your fixtures.
Features of the Delta Touchless Faucet
- Delta TempSense™ LED indicator changes color to alert you to water temperature and lets you know when battery power is running low
- ShieldSpray® Technology provides potent cleaning power while minimizing mess
- Touch-Clean® spray holes let you wipe away hard water mineral build-up with no scrubbing or harsh chemicals
- Long-lasting DIAMOND™ Seal design reduces leak points, while MagnaTite® docking technology locks the spray head into place when not in use
- Dual power mode can be used with AC power or six AA batteries
- Dual-stream design allows you to adjust the spray operation without losing pressure
Pros of the Delta Touchless Faucet
- Easy to clean
- Batteries are simple to replace
- Minimal mess due to leakage or overspray
- Temperature indicator
- Flexible hose and spray head are easy to maneuver
- Convenient one-touch operation
Cons of the Delta Touchless Faucet
- Battery replacement can be inconvenient
- Design isn’t fully touchless and can result in accidental activation
- Finish tends to show fingerprints easily
- Challenging to install
- Requires manual temperature adjustments
As the top faucet company in North America, Moen is beloved for its quality, reliability and thoughtful design, particularly in the development of innovative kitchen solutions to meet its customers’ ever-evolving needs. With its combination of intuitive functionality and elegant visual appeal, the Moen touchless faucet is an outstanding choice for consumers looking for an upgrade to their kitchen sink.
Features of the Moen Touchless Faucet
- MotionSense Wave™ touchless technology provides touchless control of water flow via a single sensor on the faucet base
- Power Clean™ spray delivers 50 percent more cleaning power than standard faucets
- Reflex® docking system keeps the spray head secured to the base when not in use and provides more than six feet of hose length for ultimate cleaning versatility
- Spot Resist™ Stainless finish resists fingerprints and other messes to keep your faucet looking clean and attractive, even with frequent use
- Duralock quick-connect system makes secure, leakproof installation a breeze
Pros of the Moen Touchless Faucet
- Hands-free lever handle is easy to adjust
- Powerful, precise motion sensors
- Clean, stain-resistant stainless-steel exterior
- Retractable 68-inch hose allows you to clean more surfaces
- Secure docking system
- Satisfaction-guaranteed limited lifetime warranty
- User-friendly design fits Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) guidelines
Cons of the Moen Touchless Faucet
- Requires extensive maintenance for optimal function
- Motion detector can be overly sensitive and trigger unwanted activation
For nearly 150 years, Kohler has devoted itself to enhancing its customers’ lives by producing powerful, affordable, high-quality home fixtures, appliances and tools. The Kohler Touchless Faucet is a perfect example of the fulfillment of this mission, with its minimalistic design, advanced technology and flawless functionality.
Features of the Kohler Touchless Faucet
- Response™ sensor technology responds within 20 milliseconds to any motion in its vicinity, making its design truly touchless for ultimate cleanliness and convenience; faucet automatically shuts off after four minutes of inactivity
- System runs on AC power, meaning there are no batteries to replace; in case of a power outage, you can override the system to manually operate the faucet
- DockNetik™ magnetic docking system keeps the spray head securely locked in place when not in use
- Precision activation window minimizes false activations
- Sweep® spray design creates powerful, blade-shaped stream for effective cleaning
- Ceramic disc valves and corrosion-free stainless steel exceed industry quality standards, ensuring long life and consistent performance
- ProMotion® technology includes lightweight hose and swiveling ball for quiet, comfortable operation
- MasterClean™ spray head resists mineral buildup and is easy to clean
- Temperature memory maintains consistent temperature from use to use
Pros of the Kohler Touchless Faucet
- Precision activation and responsive shutoff technology
- Corrosion-free, attractive stainless exterior
- Hose and spray head prevent mineral build-up from hard water
- Aesthetically appealing design
- Easy to maintain
Cons of the Kohler Touchless Faucet
- No battery power option
- Limited mobility
While it may not be the best-known brand name in home fixtures, the RunFine touchless kitchen faucet is an affordable, high-quality competitor to the most popular models. Its sleek, sophisticated design, simple installation process and efficient operation make it an outstanding choice for residential use.
Features of the RunFine Touchless Faucet
- Waterproof integral control unit runs on four AA batteries
- 8 GPM flow rate can help reduce water consumption
- Long-lasting brass internal components and attractive chrome exterior finish
- Smart Saving system turns off water flow after three minutes without motion detection
- Control unit can be reconfigured to bypass sensor for manual operation
Pros of the RunFine Touchless Faucet
- Easy to install
- Can be converted into manual mode
- Made from durable materials for long life
- Accurate motion sensor and three-minute automatic shutoff
Cons of the RunFine Touchless Faucet
- Customer service isn’t as responsive as better-known brands
- Batteries not included
While not exactly a household name, Boharers specializes in developing attractive, cutting-edge home and kitchen fixtures through a dedicated focus on research and development. The Boharers touchless kitchen faucet represents the culmination of those efforts, combining flawless form and function in a modestly-priced product that performs well above its pay grade.
Features of the Boharers Touchless Faucet
- Precise motion detection technology senses movement and responds almost instantaneously, preventing you from having to touch the unit to operate it
- Dual-flow design lets you switch seamlessly between rinse and stream flow
- 8 GPM flow rate helps conserve water and lower utility costs
- System automatically shuts off after three minutes without movement
- Spot-resistant finish repels stains and is easy to clean
- Lifetime warranty guarantees your investment
- System powered by four AA batteries that last at least a year
- High-arc faucet and long, flexible hose allow you to clean large items with ease
Pros of the Boharers Touchless Faucet
- Affordable price
- Lifetime warranty
- Accurate motion sensor
- Simple, user-friendly installation
- High-quality materials and construction
Cons of the Boharers Touchless Faucet
- No mechanism to prevent splashing or spatter
- Sensors may be too sensitive for some users
- Only two finish options—brushed nickel and polished chrome—may not work with all kitchen décor
While they’re largely considered a luxury now, touchless faucets will eventually become the standard in residential kitchens. By investing in a durable, high-quality touchless kitchen faucet, you’ll add convenience to your life and value to your home. The five models profiled here have passed our tests for quality, reliability and performance, ensuring your satisfaction for years to come.